Restaurateurs of New York, beware: Do not open a late-night spot anywhere near Georgette Fleischer. The downtown scold, a Barnard professor, has just successfully had hotspot La Esquina closed down because of code violations. And this isn't her first victory.
Eater gives us news of the Esquina closing, but also provides some interesting background on this Fleischer character. She teaches English uptown but lives in Soho and is constantly railing against late-night revelers. She's had several victories, some of them short-lived, but others more decisive. She defeated a James Beard award winner! In the case of a new Italian restaurant, run by Michael White, looking to open on Lafayette in February, Fleischer waxed poetic, saying that a new spot wasn't needed in a neighborhood that's already become
...a nightspot-hopping area that leaves residents like me awakened at two, three, four in the morning when these drunk and drugged-out fleets move fabulously from one hotspot to the next.
Fabulously! Someone almost sounds like she feels a little left out. Either way she won and the restaurant didn't open there.
Fleischer recently elaborated her point when talking about La Esquina, whose building was found to be in violation of a 2008 code. From The Post:
"The restaurant owners are acting like barbarians and playing fast and loose with safety issues," said Georgette Fleischer, who called in the complaints — none of which had anything to do with the egress issue. "It's only a matter of time before someone loses their life."
So she basically used a small code law to get a loud bar shut down. We get her concerns about safety — White's bar/restaurant on Lafayette was to open in the old location of The Falls, from which Immette St. Guillen was abducted and later murdered four years ago — but if she's campaigning, in truth, to just get the noise out of her neighborhood, we'd gently suggest she maybe consider a different area. Sure Soho used to be quiet many moons ago, but areas shift and new things flood in. That's what being in a living city is all about. If you can't stand the heat, go to Hell's Kitchen. (Actually don't.)
The La Esquina people are already working on fixing the code issue, so the place should be open again shortly. And the grand, shrieking urban ballet will continue on.